Power of Prayer

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him."
1 John 5:14-15



“For many Americans, every day is a day of prayer. More than half (55%) of Americans say they pray every day, while 21% say they pray weekly or monthly and 23% say they seldom or never pray. Even among those who are religiously unaffiliated, 20% say they pray daily. Women (64%) are more likely than men (46%) to pray every day. And Americans ages 65 and older are far more likely than adults under 30 to say they pray daily (65% vs. 41%). 45% of Americans – and a majority of Christians (55%) – say they rely a lot on prayer and personal religious reflection when making major life decisions. The same survey found that 63% of Christians in the U.S. say praying regularly is an essential part of their Christian identity.”

– 2014 Pew Research Study
Lipka, Michael. “5 Facts about Prayer.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 4 May 2016


 


“A cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment can have a profound emotional and spiritual impact on those touched by the disease. For many patients and their caregivers, turning to prayer can help ease the burden, helping them better cope with the challenges they face.”

 

“According to a National Cancer Institute summary of research related to the role of spirituality in cancer care, “Both patients and family caregivers commonly rely on spirituality and religion to help them deal with serious physical illnesses, expressing desire to have specific spiritual and religious needs and concerns acknowledged or addressed by medical staff.”¹ Prayer, specifically, plays a vital role as a complementary modality used by many patients and caregivers to support overall well-being. Whether it is a silent meditation asking for guidance in making decisions about care, praying aloud with a caregiver or asking for a safe and successful treatment or procedure, calling on a higher power can provide solace, comfort and a sense of peace. By nurturing faith through prayer, many patients and caregivers have found that they are better equipped to cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges associated with cancer.”

– Betsey Batish of Cancer Fighters Thrive
Batish, Betsey. “The Power of Prayer.” Cancer Fighters Thrive, 4 Nov. 2014


 

“For the devout, there never has been any question that prayer has the power to heal. “Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick — and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster,” Duke University’s Harold G. Koenig, M.D., tells Newsmax Health. An exhaustive analysis of more than 1,500 reputable medical studies “indicates people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health,” Dr. Koenig says.“

Dr. Harold G Koenig, M.D., Newsman
“Science Proves the Healing Power of Prayer.” Newsmax, Newsmax Inc. Newsmax Inc., 31 Mar. 2015


 

“The proof of the power of prayer is overwhelming, says researcher and writer Tom Knox, a one-time atheist who became a regular worshipper after doing in-depth study of the medical benefits of faith."

“What I discovered astonished me,” admits Knox. “Over the past 30 years a growing and largely unnoticed body of scientific work shows religious belief is medically, socially, and psychologically beneficial.”

Tom Knox, Newsmax
“Science Proves the Healing Power of Prayer.” Newsmax, Newsmax Inc. Newsmax Inc., 31 Mar. 2015


 

“Prayer is the most widespread alternative therapy in America today. Over 85 percent of people confronting a major illness pray. It doesn’t matter if you pray for yourself or for others, pray to heal an illness or for peace in the world, or simply sit in silence and quiet the mind — the effects appear to be the same. A wide variety of spiritual practices have been shown to help alleviate the stress levels, which are one of the major risk factors for disease. They also are powerful ways to maintain a positive outlook and successfully weather the trials which come to all of us in life.”

Study by the University of Rochester
Schiffman, Richard. “Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don't.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Mar. 2012.


 

“Many people are driven to pray at some point in their lives, even if they are not religious. For many non-believers, it is an instinctive response to a crisis: “Please, God.” A new survey has found that one in five adults pray despite saying they are not religious.”

“Just over half of all adults in the U.S. pray, and they are increasingly likely to call on God whileengaged in activities such as cooking or exercising, according to the poll. Although one in three people pray in a place of worship, and a third pray before going to sleep or on waking, others combine prayer with daily activities. One in five pray while doing household chores or cooking, 15% pray while travelling, and 12% pray during exercise or other leisure pursuits.”

Isabelle Hamley, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury
Sherwood, Harriet. “Non-Believers Turn to Prayer in a Crisis, Poll Finds.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Jan. 2018.


 

“It has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan. This type of prayer increases activity in brain areas associated with social interaction compassion and sensitivity to others. It also increases frontal lobe activity as focus and intentionality increase. As well as changing the brain, another study implies that intentional prayer can even change physical matter.”

Dr. Caroline Leaf
Kelly, Megan. “How Prayer Changes the Brain and Body Prayer Changes the Brain.” Renewing All Things, 8 Feb. 2018.


 



Modern Day Miracles

Our Lady of Lourdes at the Marian Shrine

On February, 11 2018 the 70th miracle at the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes was officially recognized by the Catholic Church. The miracle was officially declared by Bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonin of Beauvais, France on Feb. 11, the World Day of the Sick and the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. This miraculous event occurred in 2008 to a French nun, Sister Bernadette Moriau, who was disabled and had been wheelchair bound since 1980. When Sister Moriau visited the Lourdes Shrine she attended a blessing for the sick and prayed to Saint Lourdes for her intercession. She heard a voice tell her to “take off her braces” and instantly a surge of well-being came over her and Sister Moriau was able to walk away from her chair.

– Cna. “The 70th Miracle: Lourdes Healing Officially Declared Supernatural.” Catholic News Agency, Catholic News Agency, 9 Feb. 2019.
 

The Healing of Saint Padre Pidro

Signora Concetta Bellarmini of S. Vito Lanciano was suddenly stricken with a blood infection followed by bronchial pneumonia with a very high fever, reduced to such a state that the doctors despaired of ever saving her. A relative urged her to direct her prayers to Padre Pio. She prayed to him whom she has never seen, when suddenly in full daylight a stigmatized monk appeared to her and smiling blessed her without touching her and said, ”On Sunday morning you will be cured," then he vanished from the room, leaving an odor of perfume. After this visit, Signora Bellarmini’s fever ceased and on Sunday morning her health was completely restored. She went with her brother to San Giovanni Rotondo to see if Padre Pio was the one who appeared to her and when she arrived at the Monastery and saw Padre Pio in the church she turned to her brother and said, "There he is, he is the one!"

– “Miracles of the Saints.” Levitation and Ecstatic Flights in the Lives of the Saints.
 

Finding Love with St. Anthony

St. Anthony of Padua, known as the patron saint of lost articles, is credited with recovering lost people, items and stolen goods. In some cultures, the faithful petition him when in search of love. Every year, but especially around Valentine’s Day, hundreds of pilgrims’ flock to San Miguelito in Morelia, Mexico. More than 750 St. Anthony statues are put on display along with a book of prayers and petitions asking the saint for assistance and letters sharing success stories. A ritual involving St. Anthony is performed where those congregated say a prayer to the saint while burning orange candles in front of his statue. According to the legend, someone looking for a life partner should put 13 identical coins around the base of the St. Anthony walk around the statue 13 times while praying.

– VenhausFor, Lynn, and Lynn Venhaus For the News-Democrat. “St. Anthony Statues Have a Love Connection.” Bnd, Belleville News-Democrat, 15 Feb. 2016.